This week, my husband and I marked 15 years of marriage, which I consider an accomplishment in today's society but is a drop in the bucket compared to the 50 years both of our parents have shared.
The years we have shared have not been easy, some have flown by and some seemed to never end. Some years we were fortunate, and others it seemed we could not catch a break! We have faced nearly all the major stressors of a marriage and so far have come out together. It has not been easy.
Why has it worked so far? Our upbringing, our nature, our faith.
My husband and I are complete opposites in many ways.
I am a planner. He cannot plan beyond the current week. I love to make holidays special and feel loved by gifts. He doesn't like any attention on himself, has very few needs for "stuff" and thinks its silly to celebrate birthdays and such. I'm the nurturer. He is the disciplinarian. I love to read. His idea of reading is The Daily Racing Forum.
Sometimes these differences make life interesting, sometimes exasperating and sometimes they provide just the right balance.
One quality we both have in common is tenacity. We are both hard working and committed. When things go wrong, we don't let them get us down. We "suck it up" and make a new plan. Maybe it's the Irish in us or the Midwestern heritage in me and the New Englander in him but it works.
We also have an innate attitude that you do what you need to do to get the job done. We understand sacrifice, as modeled by our parents.
Life has dealt us its share of struggles, but we always seem to land in our feet (by the grace of God).
We share a same faith and belief that our vows mean something. We take the whole "for better, for worse, in sickness and health, for richer and poorer, in good times and bad, until death do us part" seriously. We know it won't all be as exhilarating as our dating period was. We know marriage takes work and we are learning what that means every day. Sometimes we are doing well, and sometimes we struggle. Through all this we hold onto our love, our faith, the belief that we are each other's "person" and we are in this life together, wherever it may lead.